NBA

I got real ambitious – Lillard basks in buzzer-beating heroics

By Sports Desk January 31, 2021

Damian Lillard conceded his ambitious streak took over when he sunk a sensational buzzer-beater to snatch victory for the Portland Trail Blazers over the Chicago Bulls.

The Bulls were leading 122-117 when Lillard hit a 37-foot three pointer with 8.9 seconds left before Gary Trent Jr won a jump ball that ended up in the star point guard's hands.

From there, Lillard drilled a superb step-back three, his eighth successful attempt from range to conclude a 44-point haul – the 35th 40-point game of his career.

"I knew they were going to try and deny me and be real physical so I just popped back towards half court," Lillard said.

"I just wanted to get a clean look. If I missed it, that probably would have been game, but it had been feeling good coming off my hands all night and I made that one.

"In these situations I usually look up at the clock and I get real ambitious - how can I help our team get out of this situation?

"A lot of times it doesn't work out but today it worked out."

Trent certainly feels Lillard is playing down his vaunted capacity to make clutch shots.

"This is what he does. Nobody is surprised in a sense," he said.

"He makes big-time shits. He's done this time after time after time.

"So at this point… it's just I know it was going in when he shot it."

Speaking to reporters afterwards, Blazers coach Terry Stotts insisted there was little credit he could share with man-of-the-moment Lillard.

"It's innate. It's God-given," he said. "He's born with it, and you can't teach it."

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